Oct 9, 2008

Your yoga teacher: is he/she worth it?

A yoga teacher can be one who has learnt yoga exercises and has now taken up yoga teaching as a profession/business because he/she has smelled money in it. On the other end of the spectrum can be a teacher who is teaching yoga to others so as to share his/her knowledge of this marvelous wisdom of healing so as to make others healthy in body-mind-spirit.
All shades of teachers will be there and all will have a purpose.The purpose of this post is not to denigrade teaching of yoga for money making, but to help you understand whether you are getting the great benefits of yoga or have ended up doing some exercises with exotic names.

I am giving a checklist here to judge whether you are getting the right lessons. I pray that you use these to judge the teacher / lessons only to get the best from yoga, not to develop an ill-will for the person who is teaching you. If you are not satisfied, search for a better teacher, even if online.

  • Only a small part of yoga is muscle exercise. Do you know that it is part exercise, part deep exercise, part body cleansing, part body healing, part mind healing, part spiritual healing. Are you getting anything beyond the exercise regimen?
  • Yoga is in essense a science of healing, and healing needs qualities in the teacher that transcend the mere science of treatment of ailments. Does the yoga teacher practise yoga in his/her life or is he/she only a 'teaching technician of yoga'?
  • Can the teacher answer your queries; is he/she open minded towards criticism? Is he/she sensitive to your special needs?
  • If he/she is a westerner, does he/she appreciate the basis of the oriental thought on healing?
  • If he/she is from India or nearby areas, is he showing off his association with the orient to sell yoga? Does he/she have the knowledge of biology, if not medicine?
  • Does he/she have a knowledge of the working of the mind?
  • Does he/she have sensitivity towards various faiths?